Thursday, June 29, 2006
BREAKING - Supreme Court Rules Against Bush on Military Commissions
BREAKING - CNN is reporting that the Supreme Court, 5-3, has reversed the lower court’s ruling on the tribunals, ruling against the Bush administration. I’ll post more when a site picks it up.

UPDATE1: has the story up.

Update2: Bush will have a press conference in about an hour. I can’t wait to see his reaction when he is asked about this. I don’t think Bush likes to be told he isn’t the Supreme Ruler.

UPDATE3: From -

The vote was split 5-3, with moderate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy joining the court's liberal members in ruling against the Bush administration. Chief Justice John Roberts, named to the lead the court last September by Bush, was sidelined in the case because as an appeals court judge he had backed the government over Hamdan.

Thursday's ruling overturned that decision.

All the law pundits nailed that one.

UPDATE4 11:02 AM: From -
More importantly, the Court held that Common Article 3 of Geneva aplies as a matter of treaty obligation to the conflict against Al Qaeda. That is the HUGE part of today's ruling. The commissions are the least of it. This basically resolves the debate about interrogation techniques, because Common Article 3 provides that detained persons "shall in all circumstances be treated humanely," and that "[t]o this end," certain specified acts "are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever"—including "cruel treatment and torture," and "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." This standard, not limited to the restrictions of the due process clause, is much more restrictive than even the McCain Amendment. See my further discussion here.

This almost certainly means that the CIA's interrogation regime is unlawful, and indeed, that many techniques the Administation has been using, such as waterboarding and hypothermia (and others) violate the War Crimes Act (because violations of Common Article 3 are deemed war crimes).

UPDATE5 11:07 AM: From the -
The case raised core constitutional principles of separation of powers as well as fundamental issues of individual rights. Specifically, the questions concerned:

· The power of Congress and the executive to strip the federal courts and the Supreme Court of jurisdiction.

· The authority of the executive to lock up individuals under claims of wartime power, without benefit of traditional protections such as a jury trial, the right to cross-examine one's accusers and the right to judicial appeal.

· The applicability of international treaties -- specifically the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war -- to the government's treatment of those it deems "enemy combatants."

Quite an important ruling.

UPDATE6 11:30 AM: The has been posted.


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